Not long ago, I noticed that our family had fallen into a pattern in the evenings, and not a good one. Repeatedly, I would look around and see that…
Wayne was playing Destiny on the tv/PS4, wearing soundproof headphones.
Emma was watching Netflix on the desktop computer.
Ben was on the couch playing a game on Wayne’s phone.
And Abby was in her room watching Netflix on her laptop, or playing games on her iPod.
I would shrug and go to my room, close the door, and read.
We were all in the same house, but completely separate. And it made me sad. (Although, I did enjoy the quiet time to read.) Something had to change.
Enter Family Nights.
After some discussion, we decided to reserve Friday nights for a family activity. Everyone gets a turn to choose the activity and everyone participates.
The first week, Emma chose bowling. We went to the bowling alley on our base.
Wayne won, which was no surprise. He used to bowl a lot (and score much higher, but that’s been awhile ago) and he has (had?) a killer curve. I was proud to break 100. The kids had bumpers.
Another week we played Ticket to Ride. I was thinking about buying a new game, and decided to ask my friend Kimberly for advice, since her family has an entire bookcase full of games. They kindly loaned us a few of their games to try out, including Ticket to Ride.
I believe Emma won that game. (The boys played, they just didn’t get in the picture.) The game was a hit; we’re going to have to buy that one.
One week we played the Wii. I confess that my playing was minimal. But I was in the room! And I did play a little! We don’t have 5 remotes, so everyone had to take turns. Let’s just say I was willing to give up my turn frequently. 🙂
There have been other game nights – more Ticket to Ride as well as Apples to Apples. Once or twice we watched a movie — staring at a screen is admittedly not my favorite idea for Family Night, but at least we were all staring at the same screen. One weekend we went shopping at the outlet mall and out to dinner, which was kind of a twofer because we needed to do some clothes shopping anyway.
Does your family have a tendency to be “together but separate”? What do you do to combat it?